Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Parson signs bill allowing state, local jurisdictions to collect online use tax

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Today, during a ceremony at the State Capitol, Governor Mike Parson signed SB 153 & 97 into law, allowing Missouri and local jurisdictions to collect an online use tax that will help protect Missouri's brick and mortar businesses.

"Passing Wayfair legislation has been a top priority of my administration, and we are happy to be signing this critical legislation into law today," Governor Parson said.

"This law will help even the playing field between Missouri small businesses and large out-of-state retailers. With more than 570,000 small businesses in the state of Missouri, it is time that we establish a 21st century tax code that benefits our Main Street businesses rather than companies that don't invest in our communities or employ our citizens."

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. allowed states to adopt rules to collect sales and use taxes from business not physically located in their state but who sell and deliver products into the state.

SB 153 & 97 will allow Missouri and local jurisdictions to collect a use tax from online retailers who sell and deliver more than $100,000 in tangible goods to consumers in the state annually.

Collection and remittance obligations will begin on January 1, 2023. Sales and uses taxes cannot be retroactive and will be collected by the Missouri Department of Revenue. Following 49 other states and Washington D.C., Missouri will be the final state to implement an economic nexus law since the Supreme Court's decision in 2018.

Currently, Missouri businesses lose sales because out-of-state, online retailers are not subject to the same state sales tax laws that local businesses are. The current system also burdens Missouri businesses because they are required to remit sales and use taxes to other states, but out-of-state businesses selling to Missourians do not.

"This legislation is many years in the making and long overdue in the state of Missouri," Governor Parson said. "This is a big win for our state and our small businesses, and we appreciate Senator Koenig and Representative Eggleston for prioritizing this legislation and working tirelessly to find agreement and get it passed."

For more information on SB 153 & 97, click here.

Crawford County man sentenced to 15 years for second degree murder

(From Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt)

A Crawford County man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for second-degree murder, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Jeremy Scott Delmarco, 34, of Arma, was sentenced today by Crawford County District Court Judge Jennifer Brunetti to 184 months for reckless second-degree murder, and 43 months for aggravated battery. The sentences will be served concurrently in a Kansas Department of Corrections facility.

Delmarco pleaded no contest to the charges on April 20 for the 2019 death of 36-year-old Brandy Lee Delmarco in Crawford County.

The case was investigated by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Taney County woman pleads guilty to sexually assaulting children aged 2 and 4, child pornography

(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri)

A Merriam Woods, Missouri, woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to sexually assaulting two children to produce child pornography, and to receiving and distributing child pornography.

Tara Sau Millman, 41, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of the sexual exploitation of minors and one count of receiving and distributing child pornography. Millman has been in federal custody since her arrest and remains detained without bail.

By pleading guilty today, Millman admitted that a co-defendant used her iPhone to record video of her performing a sexual act on a 2-year-old child, identified in court documents as John Doe. Investigators also found images and videos of child pornography on Millman’s iPhone, including files that depicted Millman and her co-defendant sexually assaulting John Doe and a 4-year-old child victim, identified in court documents as Jane Doe.

Millman also admitted that she used a social media application to share child pornography over the internet, and that she and her co-defendant viewed child pornography together.

The investigation began when agents with Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, California, began investigating users of a cloud storage platform (identified in court documents as “Cloud Platform A”). The cloud platform provides encrypted, cloud-based services that enable private, secure online storage, communication, and collaboration for business and individuals. During the investigation, the agents accessed a weblink to an encrypted chat room with approximately 145 registered users. Files containing child pornography were uploaded/posted by participants in the chat room. A search warrant was executed at Millman’s residence in Taney County, Mo., on Jan. 28, 2021.

Under federal statutes, Millman is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 50 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled upon the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Twenty-nine new COVID-19 cases confirmed in McDonald County

From the McDonald County Health Department)

Cases continued to increase today. We continue to encourage vaccinations for those who are eligible.

Newton County confirms 83 COVID-19 cases in past two days

(From the Newton County Health Department)

Covid-19 Update
June 28, 2021:

54 New Cases
131 Active Cases
21 Daily Recovered Cases

June 29, 2021:

29 New Cases
140 Active Cases
20 Daily Recovered Cases

Covid-19 tests conducted in Newton County for week of June 22 - June 28, 2021:

478 Total Tests
357 Negative Tests
121 Positive tests
25.30% Positivity Rate

Covid-19 Cumulative Tests for Newton County:

41,534 Total Tests
34,778 Negative Tests
6,756 Positive Tests
16.30% Positivity Rate

Newton County Vaccinations given:

18,615 Total Vaccinations
19.90% Percentage of population with one dose
17.70% Percentage of population with two doses
296 Number of doses administered in the last 7 days

Jasper County confirms 49 COVID-19 cases, passes 10,000 cases to date

COVID-19 cases continue to grow at a rapid pace in Jasper County with the Health Department confirming 49 cases today and passing the 10,000 mark for total cases at 10,032.

The Health Department posted on its Facebook page earlier today that 574 cases had been confirmed this month, compared to 158 in May.

Jasper County has 179 active cases, with 20 county residents hospitalized.

The statistics do not include the portion of Jasper County that is located in the Joplin city limits.

Webb City School District mourns passing of junior high social studies teacher

(From the Webb City R-7 School District)

Cardinal Community:

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we inform you of the recent passing of Mrs. Bryann Baird, one of our beloved Junior High teachers. 

Mrs. Baird, a 2007 graduate of Webb City High School, taught Social Studies for the last nine years with the district and was not only dedicated to her students but to her co-workers and community as well.

Our district counselors will be available today and tomorrow until 2:45 PM to aid students and staff with the grieving process.
We extend our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Mrs. Baird's family and friends during this most difficult time and we kindly ask that out of respect, you do not comment on this post.

Joplin confirms 37 new COVID-19 cases

The Joplin Health Department confirmed 37 new COVID-19 cases today, according to statistics posted this evening on the city's website.

The cases bring the city's total to 6,669, including 158 active cases. 

The city's hospitals have 77 COVID patients, including 15 city residents.


Nancy Hughes: Defective clothing

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)

Hand-me-down clothes were the norm for me growing up in a family of five kids. And being the middle child guaranteed that I would always be the recipient of whatever my older sister outgrew like shoes, shorts, and shirts. I never really cared because we were the same size.

Until I grew more quickly and became taller and lankier than my sister. And I inherited her swimsuit that was two sizes too big for me. It didn’t matter if the swimsuit was too large when my sisters and I swam in our farm pond; but that all changed the day our parents took us to town to swim at the community swimming pool.

The too large swimsuit dilemma was real: did I opt out of swimming with my friends and tell them I was sick or did I take a chance and swim anyway? The beautiful clear water gave me my answer: swim! And I did.

Oh the fun! Swimming under water like a dolphin with my friends. Laughing as we splashed each other. Perfect warm day. Perfect cloudless sky. Perfect blue water. Everything was perfect. Until I drove into the pool and came up out of the water. And my swimsuit did not. Defective clothing that offered no protection – that’s what I wore that day.

Ephesians 6:13 talks about a different kind of clothing. It talks about armor –the full armor of God. The protection it offers covers us, not just physically, but spiritually and mentally. Paul understood completely the spiritual battle believers face. 

Satan never rests as he tries to shake our belief in God by shooting at us with arrows of doubt and fear and anxiety. But when we are covered in the armor of God, we can stand strong against whatever is thrown our way.

As we continue reading in Ephesians 6, we are encouraged to clothe ourselves with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and feet fitted with readiness. And we must always put on the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation while we clinch the sword of the Spirit.

Where do we find all that armor? In the word of God, the Bible. Unlike my too big swimsuit, being clothed with God’s armor means that it will never be defective and fail. Dive into His word and come up clothed and ready for anything that comes your way!

Father, I want to be ready when Satan attacks my life. Please remind me every day to put on the full protective armor that only you can give. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Have you ever faced a day when you felt like your “spiritual” clothing did not fit?
If so, what could be some reasons you felt that way?


Write Ephesians 6:13-17 on a note card and place it by your bathroom sink. Every morning as you get dressed for the day, “dress” your mind and heart with this Scripture.
Praise the Lord for His power given to you through the Word.


Ephesians 6:13 (NIV) “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:14-15 (NIV) “Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth, buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”

Ephesians 6:16-17 (NIV) “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)

Paul Richardson: Letters from camp and other superfluous writings

When I was entered college in the ‘70’s, communication with distant places was in an entirely different place than the current state of affairs.

The local telephone exchange, whether it was Ma Bell, a Baby Bell, or a privately held concern, all of the hardware was owned by that exchange. Residences and businesses alike simply utilized the equipment provided to them. If you wanted to communicate in a different fashion, then the only other option was to write a letter and send it through the postal system.

There weren’t any facsimile machines, texting was unheard of, and video calls or facetime was a concept of science fiction. 

I recall attending a summer camp in the mid-60’s and it was a mandatory activity to write a letter home about mid-week. The camp was only one week long, so there was a real good chance that I was going to arrive home before that letter was ever delivered. This seemed like a total waste of time to me.

Years later upon entering the university, it was expected of me to write my parents on a weekly basis. Mail coming into our house was collected twice a day at the local post office and then distributed in the central mailbox at the house. I lived in a fraternity with about sixty-five other guys, so there was a regular flow of mail. 

My dear mother was very faithful as I received a note from home on a weekly basis if not more frequent. The one fruitful thing about writing home from college was that this was a practical method of communicating my current financial status and the need for pocket money. 

My dear mother always placed a twenty-dollar bill in an envelope that resided in the glove box of my car. This was designated as emergency money and to this day she maintains that I had more emergencies that she could have ever imagined.

So, let’s review, there were two basic types of communication, phone calls which were long distance charges and that I never wanted to spend the money to make and the ever tedious, yet faithful written letter. 

Since my handwriting is exceedingly difficult to decipher, it was strongly suggested that I take typing when I was a sophomore in high school. This worked out rather well since I was the only guy in an otherwise all female environment and had I not been so shy and introverted, it would have been even better. That is all well and good, but a typewritten letter home that is sent by your son in college is so impersonal. 

Writing these letters was extremely tedious and time consuming since I had to properly express my needs. As a result, they were probably also noticeably short and to the point. 

In fact, I often felt it was simpler to drive the one hundred eighty-four miles one way and just deliver a verbal message. On top of that I could also take along my laundry and save those quarters for a pinball emergency!

Monday, June 28, 2021

COVID-19 Delta variant confirmed in Barton County

(From the Barton County Health Department)

“The Barton County Health Department has been informed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services that a resident of the county who tested positive earlier in June for COVID-19, is confirmed to have had the Delta variant of the virus.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is encouraging all eligible residents to get vaccinated. The recommendation comes as rates of the Delta variant, first identified in India, rise throughout the state. The variant is highly transmissible and is causing an increase in serious illness and hospitalizations worldwide. The variant was confirmed during random sampling of positive tests.”

McDonald County reports 19 new COVID-19 cases

(From the McDonald County Health Department)

Here is the update for today which includes cases from the weekend. Cases continue to rise and we encourage COVID vaccinations for those who are eligible at this time.

So you want to be a Joplin High School assistant principal


The Joplin R-8 School District posted an opening on the district website today for an assistant principal at the high school, The text of the advertisement is printed below:

Position:                  High School Assistant Principal


Term:                     Full-time/11 Months


Classification:           Certified/Exempt


Location:                 Joplin High School


Qualifications:          Valid Missouri certification in School Administration, grades 9-12, required; Master’s degree or higher in Educational Administration, required. Four years of successful teaching experience preferred.


Supervisory:            Yes


Reports to:              Principal


Purpose Statement:  The job of High School Assistant Principal is done for the purpose/s of providing support to the instructional process with specific responsibility for directing assigned programs and services at the high school; providing information and serving as a resource to others; supervising assigned staff and students; coordinating school activities; and addressing issues, situations and/or problems that arise on campus or with enrolled students.


General Expectations

  • Supports the mission of Joplin Schools.
  • Supports the value of education.
  • Become familiar with, enforce, and follow all applicable Board policies and regulations, administrative procedures, other directions given by district administrators and supervisors, and state and federal laws.
  • Properly supervise students at all times, if applicable to essential job functions.
  • Obey all safety rules, including rules protecting the safety and welfare of students.
  • Care for, properly use, and protect school property.
  • Maintain courteous and professional relationships with students, parents/guardians, other district employees and the public.
  • Communicate effectively with supervisors, department staff, all members of the school district, and community as required.
  • Provides excellence in customer service both internally and externally.
  • Complies with privacy rights and safeguards confidential and/or sensitive information pertaining to staff and students.
  • Reacts to change productively and receive and transmit constructive criticism as it relates to job duties.
  • Actively participate in professional development and obtain skills and information necessary to effectively perform job duties.
  • Conduct all official business in a professional and timely manner, utilizing district technology resources.
  • Arrive to work and leave work at the time specified by supervisors and attend all required meetings pertinent to the position.
  • Maintains accurate records and filing systems for accountability and audit purposes as required by law and Board policy.
  • Solve practical problems utilizing math functions as needed to complete job duties.
  • Read and interpret documents such as work orders, safety rules, and handbooks and apply to job duties.


Essential Functions:

  • Observes, mentors and evaluates assigned personnel for the purpose of ensuring that standards are achieved and performance is maximized.
  • Facilitates meetings, processes, daily operational functions, etc. (e.g. appropriate building supervision, discipline, PLC’s, etc.) for the purpose of meeting curriculum guidelines and/or ensuring that state mandates are achieved.
  • Assists with the creation of the professional development plan for the building and monitor curriculum development for the purpose of enhancing excellence equality and equity for staff and students.
  • Supervises students and intervenes in occurrences of inappropriate behavior of students for the purpose of assisting students in modifying such behavior and developing successful interpersonal skills.
  • Coordinates and oversee student organizations and activities for the purpose of enchaining excellence, equality and equity for staff and students.
  • Manages a variety of school administrative functions (e.g. student disciplinary policy, school schedule, student handbook, etc.) for the purpose of enforcing school, district and state policy and maintaining safety and efficiency of school operations.
  • Performs other related duties as needed and assigned (e.g. set up for activities such as sporting events, assemblies, plays, and musicals; assists in selection, assignment, induction and evaluation of all assigned personnel; bus duty; lunch duty; supervision of extracurricular activities and school events, etc.) for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and effective function of the work unit event in the absence of the principal.
  • Represents the school within the community for the purpose of maintain ongoing community support and educational goals and/or assisting with issues related to school environment.
  • Organizes and supervises summer school program within the building for the purpose of enhancing excellence and academic growth of students.
  • Implements policies, procedures and/or processes (e.g. providing leadership to initiate, facilitate and sustain the process of the shifting focus from teaching to learning, etc.) for the purpose of providing direction and/or complying with mandated requirements.
  • Supports principal for the purpose of providing assistance with administrative functions. 

Physical Demands

An individual who holds this position is frequently required to move in and around buildings and grounds to visit classrooms, attend meetings, sit for up to an hour at a time and supervise bus loading and unloading areas.



The employee must be able to hear a conversation in a noisy environment.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions




Regular and consistent attendance is an essential function of this position. 


The work conditions and environment described here are representative of those that an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.


Conditions and Environment

The work environment is consistent with a typical office environment; however the individual who holds this position will regularly be required to be outside in temperatures below freezing and above 100 degrees.

An individual who holds this position is frequently required to work irregular or extended hours.



Note:  The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees, and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.  Furthermore, they do not establish a contract for employment and are subject to change at the discretion of the employer.

Joplin R-8 Board hires 14 teachers, accepts five resignations, one retirement

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education approved the hiring of 14 teachers and accepted the resignations of five and the retirement of one during a June 22 closed session.

The actions were taken on a 6-1 vote with Dr. Michael Joseph casting the dissenting vote.

Certified Employment: Aimee Bollin, Tylease DePriest, Lucas Dickerson, Shelby Everitt, Jessica Gilmet, Audra Hobbs, Stacey Jordan, John Mareth, Lisa Putney, Debra Radigan, Lacey Tappana, Diana Warden, Abigail Bass, Alec Basye

Resignations: Beth Arnold, Shalae Brown, Charles Jenkins, Drew Long, Elizabeth Nichols

Retirement: James Whitney

Classified Employment: Tina Allen, Winnie Broady, Cindy Brubaker, Evalyn Crawford, Mason Lillard, and Maria Shoemaker

Summer School Employment: Brianna Chaffin, Erica Durossette, Shannon Harris, Jennifer Hill, Kelly Painter, Courtney Reddy, Staci Saunders, and Joshua Thompson

Grand jury charges Joplin, Carthage, Webb City residents with assault, kidnapping, conspiracy to cover up murder

(From the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma)

Acting United States Attorney Clint Johnson today announced the results of the June 2021 Federal Grand Jury B.

The following individuals have been charged with violations of United States law in indictments returned by the Grand Jury. 

The return of an indictment is a method of informing a defendant of alleged violations of federal law, which must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome a defendant’s presumption of innocence.

Chloe Louise Stith; David William Morris; Breanna Lynn Sloan; Morgan Lee Bowman; Sarah Michelle Humbard; Megan Louise Detherage; Ariel Sue Paige Divine. 

Tampering with a Witness, Victim, and Informant Conspiracy (Count 1);

Tampering with a Witness, Victim, and Informant by Threatening Physical Force (Counts 2-6); 

Tampering with a Witness, Victim, and Informant by Use of Physical Force (Counts 7-10); 

Tampering with Documents and Proceedings by Corruptly Altering, Destroying, Mutilating, and Concealing a Record, Document, and Other Object (Count 11) (second superseding). 

The defendants all reside in Missouri. 

Stith, 21, of Carthage; Morris, 33; Sloan, 22, of Joplin; Bowman, 25; Humbard, 24, of Joplin; Detherage, 27, of Joplin; and Divine, 29, of Webb City, are charged with conspiring with one another and others to tamper with witnesses/informants by threatening the use force and actually using force (assault and kidnapping) to prevent those individuals from communicating with law enforcement officials about the murder of Jolene Campbell Walker, a citizen of the Osage Nation. 

Ms. Walker was initially reported missing, and on July 15, 2020, her remains were discovered in Mayes County within the Muscogee Nation Reservation. 

Several defendants also allegedly altered and destroyed evidence with the intent to impair its integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding. The defendants carried out their conspiracy from July 5, 2020 through the date of the superseding indictment, June 23, 2021. 

The indictment goes on to charge defendants with specific offenses each carried out as part of the conspiracy. The FBI, Muscogee Creek Nation Lighthorse Police Department are the investigative agencies.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Missouri leads nation in new COVID-19 cases, 1,232 reported Thursday

By Tessa Weinberg

Kendra Findley had thought the Springfield area had seen the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in December — a month when cases regularly surpassed 200 a day and that saw a record 98 residents die of the virus.

Looking back, that was when the Alpha variant, first identified in the U.K., was burning through the population when vaccines weren’t yet widely available.

Now, Findley, the administrator of community health and epidemiology at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, fears the highly transmissible Delta variant will blaze through the remaining susceptible residents if vaccinations don’t increase. In mid-May, the Delta variant made up about 70 percent of the area’s cases tested for variants. In the last three weeks, it’s risen to 93 percent.

“I don’t want any more people within my community to die because of COVID,” Findley said. “We’ve been at this for more than a year now… And I’ve read too many death summaries. I don’t want to do that.”

Friday, June 25, 2021

Newton County confirms 44 COVID-19 cases in past two days

(From the Newton County Health Department)

Covid-19 Update
June 24, 2021:

19 New Cases
101 Active Cases
5 Daily Recovered Cases

June 25, 2021:
25 New Cases
98 Active Cases
28 Daily Recovered Cases

Covid-19 tests conducted in Newton County for week of June 18 – June 24, 2021:
503 Total Tests
415 Negative Tests
88 Positive tests
17.50% Positivity Rate

Covid-19 Cumulative Tests for Newton County:
41,181 Total Tests
34,510 Negative Tests
6,617 Positive Tests
16.20% Positivity Rate

Newton County Vaccinations given:
18,361 Total Vaccinations
19.60% Percentage of population with one dose
17.50% Percentage of population with two doses
278 Number of doses administered in the last 7 days

Joplin's Memorial Hall among 10 nominations being considered for National Register of Historic Places

(From the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation)

The Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation will consider nominations to the National Register of Historic Places during its meeting at 10 a.m. Friday, July 9. This meeting will be limited to remote participation as outlined below.

Join WebEx Meeting

Teleconference Call number: 312-535-8110
WebEx meeting number (access code): 177 937 0252
Meeting password: kyRJM3Kmm37

The following nominations will be considered at the July 9 meeting:
Father Dickson Cemetery, 845 S. Sappington Road, Crestwood, St. Louis County
Orchard Acres, 2113 W. Main St., Jefferson City, Cole County
Simonsen School, 501 E. Miller St., Jefferson City, Cole County
Memorial Hall, 212 W. 8th St., Joplin, Jasper County
Lutheran Hospital & School of Nursing, 3535 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis [Independent City]
Mueller, Phillip, Residence, 5372 St. Charles St., Cottleville, St. Charles County
Mason Building, 1110 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Jackson County
Rector House, 2008 E. 12th St., Kansas City, Jackson County
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Service Station, 1112 E. Linwood, Kansas City, Jackson County
Sandford B. Ladd School (Historic Resources of the Kansas City Missouri School District, Pre-1970 MPDF), 3640 Benton Blvd., Kansas City, Jackson County

The Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is a group of historians, architects, archaeologists and citizens with an interest in historic preservation. The council is appointed by the governor and works with the Department of Natural Resources' State Historic Preservation Office, which administers the National Register of Historic Places program for Missouri. The council meets periodically to review Missouri property nominations to the National Register, the nation's honor roll of historic properties. Approved nominations are forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C., for final approval.

More information, including completed applications for each of the nominations, is included on the meeting agenda and nominations list posted online here:

Billy Long: No to the global tax

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

While President Biden’s trip to the G7 Summit in Europe last week was full of errors and missteps, nothing compared to the blunder that was his administration’s agreement on the global corporate tax proposal. 

If you look back at the founding of this nation, a key rallying cry leading up to the Revolutionary War was the simple phrase “No taxation, without representation.” King George III had a habit of taxing the American colonies while giving them no representation in Parliament; the colonists were fed up and they weren't having it! 

The idea of a global tax on corporations begs a simple question: why should American companies be paying taxes in countries where they don’t even have an office, let alone representation with that government?

In a nutshell, the G7 countries want companies to pay a minimum of 15% for the profits they make in other countries. If President Biden gets his way, he would set the rate for American companies to 26.25%. 

Essentially, an American-owned company would have to pay taxes on the product they sell in France, even if they have no physical presence in France. 

If companies sell products in nations with a tax rate lower than their nation’s, they will have to pay a “top-up” tax in their home nation, to match their rate. So if France sets their tax rate at 15%, American companies would have to pay that 15%, plus an additional 11.25% to the United States Government, to meet America’s higher tax burden. All of this comes amid President Biden’s plan to increase the domestic corporate tax rate to 28%.

When you combine the global tax rate, and the higher at-home corporate tax rate, the result is a drastic increase in taxes on American companies. President Biden wants you to believe that this tax would only impact large corporations, but the facts are not in his favor. 

Whenever you increase taxes on companies, the cost is passed down to consumers and workers. To pay these new taxes, the price of goods would go up across the board, and many jobs would be lost to foreign countries. 

You don’t need to look far to see that the cost of everyday items is already on the rise. America is currently seeing the highest inflation index since just before the Great Recession of 2008 and increasing corporate tax rates now would only slow our economic recovery.

In 2017, I was proud to stand with my Republican colleagues in passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This lowered the corporate tax rate to 21% and gave American companies a fighting chance in the global economy.

 Bringing our tax rates closer to that of other nations meant that our companies would be more competitive on the global stage, be able to hire more employees, and bring jobs back home that were previously shipped overseas. The result was the lowest level of unemployment in 50 years. 

President Biden wants to not only increase our domestic corporate tax rate but impose a global tax that would disproportionately impact American businesses. These proposals would reverse all the economic progress made over the last four years and cripple our economy.

Any tax increases need Congressional approval, and when these plans come before the House, I will vote with a resounding NO! No to tax increases, no to a global tax, and no to any policies that would hurt the American worker.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Woman in her 70s is latest Newton County's latest COVID-19 death, 23 new cases reported

(From the Newton County Health Department)

The Newton County Health Department is saddened to report a death in the county due to COVID-19 complications. The individual was a female in her 70’s. Out of respect to the individual’s family, no identifying details will be released. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this individual.

Covid-19 Update
June 23, 2021:

23 New Cases
84 Active Cases
7 Daily Recovered Cases

Covid-19 tests conducted in Newton County for week of June 16 – June 22, 2021:

460 Total Tests
398 Negative Tests
62 Positive tests
13.50% Positivity Rate

Covid-19 Cumulative Tests for Newton County:

40,891 Total Tests
34,274 Negative Tests
6,617 Positive Tests
16.20% Positivity Rate

Newton County Vaccinations given:

18,246 Total Vaccinations
19.50% Percentage of population with one dose
17.30% Percentage of population with two doses
310 Number of doses administered in the last 7 days

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Joplin's 133rd COVID-19 death is 38-year-old woman, 27 new cases today

The Joplin Health Department reported the city's 133rd COVID-19 death.

The victim was a 38-year-old woman.

Statistics posted on the city's COVID-19 webpage tonight show 27 new cases confirmed today, bringing the total to 6,523, including 129 active cases.

Joplin hospitals have 76 COVID-19 patients with 15 of them city residents.

Newton County official to Politico: Residents will come around on vaccine- "my only fear is it will be too late"

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Newton County and that has drawn national attention.

Newton County and the state of Missouri (which leads the nation in new COVID cases) are featured in an article on the national website Politico.

"We were kind of hopeful we were coming out of it," Newton County Health Department Administrator Larry Bergner told Politico.

Bergner noted that the county, which at one point last month had only eight active cases, now has 68.

About 17 percent of Newton County’s 58,000 residents are fully vaccinated, compared with more than 45 percent nationally and more than 38 percent statewide in Missouri. During the last seven days, about 310 county residents received a dose. That compares with about 1,100 to 1,200 during the height of the vaccination drive in March, Bergner said.

The problem is not lack of vaccines. On the contrary. The Health Department has the vaccines, but it can't give them away.

Newton County residents are more worried about the vaccine than the virus, Bergner told Politico.

“Over time, whenever we get more data as far as safety of vaccine, I think we will see people come around,” Bergner said. “My only fear is that it will be too late.”

Newton County, Neosho officials to pay $630,000 to mother, children of Joplin man who died in county jail

The mother and children of a former Joplin resident who died June 29, 2018 in the Newton County Jail will receive a $630,000 settlement, according to documents filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Kristina Stockton, the mother of Forrest Stockton, and his two children Gatlan Stockton and Adelyn Cervin, will each receive $210,000, minus attorney fees and expenses.

The Newton County Ambulance District and Newton County will each pay $300,000, with the City of Neosho responsible for the other $30,000, according to the settlement documents.

In the lawsuit, Stockton alleged Neosho and Newton County officials denied her son proper medical care during a medical episode that occurred while he was high on meth.

Following the death of Stockton, 30, Newton County Sheriff Ken Jennings said suicide had been ruled out as a cause, but he may have died of a drug overdose.

Kristina Stockton alleged negligence by Newton County Ambulance, Newton County Sheriff's Office and Neosho Police Department employees, says the city and county failed to properly train employees and claimed her son was denied medical care.

All of them should have recognized there was a serious problem, the lawsuit claims.

Listed as defendants in the lawsuit are Newton County Ambulance, Newton County, City of Neosho, EMT Dennis Lake, paramedic Bryan Smith, Newton County Sheriff's Office employees Kelse Renner, Michael Barnett, Steve Lee and Tessa White and Neosho Police Department officers Cody Bunch, Dustin Doty and Rodney Howe.

The details of the allegations are spelled out in the petition:

On June 29, 2018, Defendants Bunch and Doty, commissioned officers with Neosho PD, were dispatched in reference to a disturbance.

They arrived at the dispatch location at approximately 6:01 pm and made contact with Forrest Stockton in the yard of a residence.

Defendants Bunch and Doty immediately noted that Mr. Stockton was lying in the side yard, rolling around, yelling incoherently. His breathing was labored.

Defendant Bunch stated that he believed that Mr. Stockton was “under the influence” but was unsure of the substance. Defendant Bunch watched as Mr. Stockton stood up and leaned against a fence while swaying back and forth.

Mr. Stockton kept jerking his body and moving sporadically. Mr. Stockton then fell on his back and again began rolling around. While rolling around, Mr. Stockton spit up what Defendant Bunch believed to be blood. Defendant Bunch called dispatch for an ambulance from Defendant NCAD.

Defendants Bunch and Doty observed Mr. Stockton continue to roll around on the ground yelling incoherently. Defendant Doty asked Mr. Stockton his name, and Mr. Stockton replied, “Forrest.” Mr. Stockton was intermittently able to communicate notwithstanding long periods of severe delirium.

According to Defendants Bunch and Doty, Mr. Stockton continued yelling unintelligible words and grunting between statements. Defendant Doty asked Mr. Stockton his last name, and Mr. Stockton replied, “Stockton.”

Defendants Bunch and Doty noted that Mr. Stockton was wet and muddy with ridged muscle tone. He was sweating profusely. Mr. Stockton moved to the backyard and continued to alternately stand, fall, sit, lie down, yell and roll around. His breathing continued to be labored.

Defendant Howe, a commissioned officer and detective with Neosho PD, arrived to assist Defendants Bunch and Doty. Defendant Howe observed Mr. Stockton rolling around on the ground. Defendant Howe stated that he believed Mr. Stockton was on some kind of narcotics based upon the way he was rolling around in the dirt and yelling. Defendant Howe further observed Mr. Stockton yelling unintelligibly and sweating profusely.

At 6:22 p.m., Defendants Lake and Smith, licensed EMS providers with NCAD, arrived to assess Mr. Stockton. Defendant Howe continued to observe Mr. Stockton’s erratic conduct and his interactions with Defendants Bunch, Doty, Lake and Smith.

Defendants Bunch and Doty placed handcuffs on Mr. Stockton without incident for an assessment by Defendants Lake and Smith. Mr. Stockton cooperated while Defendants Lake and Smith stood apart from him and they looked in his nose and mouth for blood. They found none.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Nancy Hughes: I apologize, Miley Cyrus

“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and be thrown in the depths of the sea.”

Matthew 18:6 (NIV)

There was a Hannah Montana doll at a garage sale the other day and it instantly reminded me of the shocking performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards by Miley Cyrus, who played Hannah Montana. 

When all the news outlets began talking about what she was doing on stage I decided that since I worked with teens at the time, I should Google the awards program and see what the commotion was all about. My heart was broken at what I saw.

I was stunned by two things: first, at her sexually explicit performance on stage in front of literally millions of people, including young girls who idolized her. As I watched her, it looked and sounded to me like one huge scream from a little girl drowning in the ocean: “Look at me! Please, somebody help me! I have nothing to hold on to, I have no safety net and I’m scared. I’m sinking under the water and no one cares . . . NO ONE!”

And second, where were her protectors, her bodyguards to keep her from harm? Well, her mother was on her feet, clapping thunderously with the audience as they gave her daughter a standing ovation. Her dad, who was not present for the “performance” said that she was still his little girl and he was still her dad “regardless how this circus we call show business plays out. I love her unconditionally and that will never change.”

We SHOULD love our children unconditionally but my question would be . . . if you knew it was a circus, why didn’t you pull her out of the tent when she was growing up? Did you share there were lions and tigers in that circus that would rip her to shreds? As we guide and direct our children, we owe them the courtesy of saying “Precious daughter, you are not going to dress provocatively. No, you are not dating at such a young age. Yes, I say no because I love you enough to be honest with you.”

I know that when kids become adults, they make their own choices. But what happened to Destiny Hope Cyrus on that journey to adulthood? That’s what her parents named her when she was born. Destiny stands for “future” and Hope means “dream.” Somehow I cannot believe that those two parents wanted to see their daughter reach her future dream on stage in underwear nor can I believe that that is what Miley herself saw as her future.

And yet the very people in her life – the responsible guardians of this young woman’s heart – were cheering her on as she slid under the water of despair with not one life vest thrown to save her. But there is another part of this story that also bothers me terribly.

I saw the inappropriate acting out of this beautiful young woman when she was a young girl. I saw pictures of very questionable photo shoots . . . and yet I kept on buying from her clothing line for my little girls and allowing them to watch her movies. Shame on me because I, too, looked the other way as she began to drown and I did nothing. Oh, no, wait. I DID do something. I stood on MY feet and clapped thunderously with the audience, just like her mother. How, you might ask? I supported her lifestyle with what I bought in the stores with her name on the tag. But not anymore.

I will no longer watch her movies or videos or buy her clothing. I will not purchase anything that she endorses. But I will pray for her because, more than anything, I want to let this young lady named Destiny Hope Cyrus know that she is valuable, priceless, and precious to the Lord without performing in a circus. That she was bought with a price by the King of Kings because He loves her deeply as His child.

I apologize, Miley, for not throwing a life jacket to you and for buying tickets to see you perform in the circus. Please forgive me.

Father, please forgive me for turning a blind eye to this precious child when she was searching for you. Please give me courage and wisdom to speak. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Have you ever ignored warning signs in the life of a young person who needed direction?
What was your reason for not speaking up or trying to help?


Before you buy certain items for your children or yourself, double check who backs them or what person has that line of clothing, music, etc.

If their behaviors are questionable or go against your Christian principles, look for similar items that can replace them.


Matthew 18:6 (NIV) “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and be thrown in the depths of the sea.”

Matthew 18:10 (NIV) “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

Psalm 139:13 (NIV) “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog Encouragement from the War Room.) 

Paul Richardson: Make it a la mode

I like pie. Obviously, you would say, that I like sweet things. You probably get that from my choice in the good wife, or due to my physical composition your assumption is that I have a sweet tooth. 

Cake is ok, but I like pie. 

Take for example, at a recent fundraising auction I purchased a cake for fifty dollars and a pie for forty-five dollars. I paid for the cake but returned it to be re-auctioned to raise additional money. The pie I kept, and I kept it whole and intact until I arrived home.

Under similar circumstances several years ago, I purchased a cake that was baked by the good wife for the exorbitant price of one hundred seventy-five dollars. If the good wife prepared it, everyone knew that I would be obligated to win the auction, so I still believe that they drove the price up and played the market with some insider information. Very illegal. 

After winning the cake in the auction, I simply opened it, cut it into serving sized pieces and let everyone, that wanted a piece, eat it. Had that been a pie, it would have been a different story. I like pie.

About twenty-one years ago, I entered a little café along Route 71 somewhere between Mena and Cove Arkansas. It was, and maybe still is, a tiny little place sitting all alone on the east side of the highway. It is one of those places that you have to intentionally be going to in order to get there. This is not an impulse stop. 

Anyway, about twenty-one years ago I entered this café having only been in it once before a full year prior. The moment that I walked through the door the waitress announced with a shout, “I know you. You are the guy that ate an entire coconut meringue pie the last time you were here!” 

While this was true, you must understand that I was considerably younger, slimmer, healthier, and quite toned at the time. Don’t judge me.

There have been other pie incidents. One of my personal eccentricities is ordering pie and wanting it served with the meal. Let’s not delay the delivery of the pie. I along with some riding companions, was returning from Sedalia many years ago. It was in the evening, so we stopped at Cooky’s in Golden City for dinner. I ordered my meal, including the pie, and requested that the pie arrive first so that I could enjoy it along with the meal. 

Everyone in the party thought that was a magnificent idea and followed suit. The friend that was sitting immediately to my right ordered the same kind of pie as I had. When the pie was delivered to the table, some ornery spirit took control of me and I picked up his piece of pie and licked the top of it, then placed it back on the table. There was quite a ruckus that followed.

I like pie, all sorts of pie, and if it is fruit pie, I like it a-la-mode. That is because I like ice cream!

Author’s Note: There are a lot more pie incidents that I will have to share. One includes retaliation for the pie licking story!

Parson calls special session to address funding for Mo HealthNet program

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Today, Governor Mike Parson announced a special session beginning Wednesday, June 23 at 12:00 p.m., to focus on extending the Federal Reimbursement Allowances (FRA) and related allowances, taxes, and assessments necessary for funding MO HealthNet before cost-savings measures are needed on July 1.

"After laying out the grim reality of our state's financial future if FRA is not extended, I believe legislators have now agreed to a compromise that will end this stalemate, so today I am announcing a special session to begin tomorrow at noon," Governor Parson said. 

"We appreciate the continued efforts of House and Senate leadership to work with us towards a solution, and we are thankful that we are now in a position that warrants a call to special session."

"Let me be clear, now is a time that demands leadership among legislators and not an opportunity to play games with billions of dollars and millions of livelihoods in pursuit of narrow political interests," Governor Parson said.

FRA is a program that spans multiple decades and was born from a public-private partnership between Missouri hospitals and state government to support the MO HealthNet program. The FRA provides funding to various health care providers across the state, including hospitals, pharmacies, mental health facilities, nursing facilities, emergency medical service providers, and others.

The Fiscal Year 2022 operating budget includes estimated revenue from the FRA program and other allowances, taxes, and assessments to fund primary components of the MO HealthNet program. Failure to extend these programs would cost the state of Missouri an estimated $591 million in FY22 and $788 million in FY23. Payments from the MO HealthNet program would also be reduced by $1.52 billion in FY22 and $2 billion in FY23 if these programs are not extended.

Allowing the FRA program and other allowances to expire would require the state to take immediate cost-savings measures, including rate decreases, elimination of non-mandatory programs, changes to fee schedules, and budget restrictions and vetoes.

“The FRA program reduces the burden of MO HealthNet expenditures on the state budget and maximizes federal dollars coming to Missouri, and House and Senate leadership and Missourians know the detrimental consequences if FRA is not extended,” Governor Parson said. “It is unacceptable to jeopardize critical investments in priorities like education, workforce development, and infrastructure, and we must get this done quickly to protect Missourians and continue investing in Missouri's future generations.”

The special session will focus on extending certain allowances, taxes, and assessments that fund the MO HealthNet program. Specifically, Governor Parson’s special session call is to:
Extend the expiration of the ground ambulance service reimbursement allowance
Extend the expiration of the nursing facility reimbursement allowance
Extend the expiration of the Medicaid managed care organization reimbursement allowance
Extend the expiration of the FRA program
Extend the expiration of the pharmacy tax
Extend the expiration of the intermediate care facility for the intellectually disabled assessment
Prohibit abortifacient drugs and devices
Prohibits funding for abortion facilities under the Uninsured Women's Health Program
Allow the Senate to consider appointments that require the advice and consent of the Senate

Carthage R-9 teachers receive pay increase, 12 teachers hired

(From the Carthage R-9 School District)

The Carthage R-9 Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, June 21, 2021, 6:00 pm, at Carthage Junior High. Present were Board members Lee Elliff Pound, Jeff Jones, Ryan Collier, Bill Lasley, Niki Cloud, and Karen Wilkinson. Patrick Scott was absent. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Lee Elliff Pound, Board President. The Board approved the Consent Agenda for the purpose of approving the meeting agenda, minutes of previous meetings, authorize payment of bills, approve district financial report, meal prices, and health insurance Stop Loss Carrier for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Leesa Loggains, Professional Development Chair, provided an evaluative report on Professional Development, Missouri School Improvement Area TL-2, G-8(2), including the 2021-2022 Professional Development Handbook. Professional learning drives and supports instructional practices in the District and leads to improved student learning. three-year retention rate for the 2020-2021 school year was at 80%, while one-year retention rates for the year were 88%. 

Dr. Baker presented a considered approval of preliminary budget for fiscal year 2022. The 2021- 2022 budget includes $650 increase to the teacher’s base salary (39,000), a $1.00 per hour raise for all support staff, and 2.57% raise for staff not on a salary schedule. 

Dr. Baker updated the Board regarding the following items: 

• An update on the budget 

• Only a little over a week left in summer school 

• COVID safety protocol adjustments 

• How to continue providing safe learning through Tigers Together, and new federal requirements regarding Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER). 

The Board met in closed session immediately following the regular meeting to discuss legal and personnel matters in compliance with Section 610.021 (1), (3), and (13) of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. 

In closed session the Board accepted the following personnel actions: 

Approved contracts and employment of certified and support staff presented contingent upon receiving a clear criminal record check from the Missouri Highway Patrol and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a clear check of the Adult Abuse/Neglect Registry maintained by the Missouri Department of Social Services for all employees new to the district: 

Certified Staff

Sydni Beck First Grade Mark Twain 
James Christensen Social Studies High School 
Cristina Garcia Gonzalez Kindergarten Dual Fairview 
Sierra Jacques First Grade Columbian 
Yvonne Marcela Chipatecua Dual Language Junior High 
Keith Marson Fourth Grade Dual Intermediate Center 
Elizabeth Nichols Fourth Grade Intermediate Center 
Bailey Rouse Spanish High School
Misty Wilson Fourth Grade Intermediate Center 
David Wimers Instructional Interventionist High School 
Luis Tovar Dual Language Intermediate Center 
Heidi Pim Third Grade Pleasant Valley 

Support Staff 

Justin Bellah Seasonal Maintenance Maintenance 
Ammon Bourgeous Custodian Junior High 
Banner Bourgeous Custodian Fairview 
Sydney Campbell Student Intern Technical Center 
Monica Clinton Administrative Assistant, Food Service Welcome Center 
Jasmine Dorthy Cook Columbian 
Tyler Dunnic Seasonal Technician Technology 
Aubrie Fewin Student Intern Technical Center 
Christopher George Custodian Steadley 
Haley Hicks Paraprofessional High School 
Janet Kaup Paraprofessional Early Childhood 
Brenda Lombard Cook Summer School: Steadley/ School Year: High School 
Katie Reynolds Administrative Assistant, Special Services District Office 
Bailey Richmond Paraprofessional Fairview 
Christina Rose Cook Summer School: Steadley/ School Year: High School 
Kayla San Jose Cook Columbian 
Jennifer Schaefer Cook Junior High 
Dylan Smith Groundskeeper Maintenance 
Bailey Strait Seasonal Technician Technology 
Martha Vanderpool Cook TBD 
Kelsey Wilson Paraprofessional Early Childhood 

Substitute Support Staff 
Julia Linder Substitute Teacher District 
Jelica Montelongo Substitute Teacher District 
Sheri Pierce Substitute & Summer School Nurse Steadley 

Non- Staff Coaches 
Rayna Jefferis Assistant Volleyball Coach High School 

The Board was notified of the following personnel changes: 

Transfers/Reassignments Certified Staff (effective 2021-2022 school year): 

Alex Benbow Computer Science Intermediate Center (Former-Teacher/Pleasant Valley) 
Jared Zamouski ELA Teacher High School (Former-Para/Pleasant Valley) 
Amber Baugh Custodian High School (Former-Bus Driver/Transportation) 
Laura McClary Paraprofessional High School (Former-Para/Columbian) 
Kensey Sageser Administrative Assistant to Superintendent District Office (Former-Receptionist/District Office)
Sarah Fash Title I Reading Intermediate Center (Former-Teacher/CIC) 

Additional Duty 

Zach Canfield Head Track & Field Coach Junior High 
Katie Coen Assistant Cross-Country Coach (0.5) High School 
"Shane" Robert Lankford Assistant Cross-Country Coach Junior High 
Sara Mendell Head Cross-Country Coach Junior High 
Ashley Patterson Assistant 7th Grade Volleyball Coach Junior High 
Kacey Thayer Assistant 7th Grade Basketball Coach Junior High